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Why Should Business Invest in Data?

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2013
  • 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield - Riverpark Bldg Eagan

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Presentation #1

Why Should Business Invest in Data?

We, as data management professionals, often lament that our business counterparts just don’t get the value of data.  We often voice this lament when we are trying to get funds to implement data management initiatives such as master data management or data quality.  Business people usually hold the corporate purse strings and we have to convince them that the investment of funds we are asking for will provide business value.  Business people are taught a specific framework for computing business value in their MBA classes called discounted cash flow (DCF).  They speak of business value in terms of numbers that DCF computes such as Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR).  However, most technologists, including data management professionals, are never taught these concepts and so they can’t speak to business people about value in language that the business people know and accept.  This puts them at a significant disadvantage when requesting corporate investment funds.  This presentation will discuss the basic concepts of DCF, NPV and IRR so that technically oriented data management professionals can begin to speak the same language as their business counterparts.

The problem is further complicated by the fact that DCF requires estimates of future cash flows as an input.  It can be very hard to estimate how future cash flows for a business can be affected by investing in data management initiatives.  This is because data has an indirect effect on future cash flows.  The future cash flows of a business depend on the effectiveness and efficiency of the business processes the business performs.  We need to be able to illustrate how improved data will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of business processes so that they cost less and/or produce more revenue.  This can be a long and complex cause and effect chain.  So we need to develop techniques for technical and business people to work together to describe this cause/effect chain and estimate the impact on future cash flows.  This presentation describes such a technique using a concept called Influence Diagrams.

Speaker Bio

Richard Howey has worked in information systems since 1975.  Until 1995, he was involved in air traffic control automation and military command and control systems.  Since 1995, he has focused on business intelligence/data warehousing, metadata, data governance and other aspects of information management. 

He holds a MS degree in Management of Technology from the University of Minnesota.  He has been published in refereed academic journals on estimating and measuring the “intangible” value of technology.

He reviewed and edited the Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence and the Meta Data Management chapters of the DAMA Guide to the Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBOK).

He holds the Certified Data Management Professional, Certified Business Intelligence Professional and Certified TOGAF 9 Enterprise Architect professional certifications.

 

Presentation #2

Emerging Technologies and Methodologies - Culling through the Hype

Quarter after quarter, emerging methodologies, technologies and information "opportunities" are presented to not only ourselves, but our peers and business partners. When you work for a small to medium size company, there are not only a limited number of financial resources; there are also limited human resources. In addition to that there are vendors and professional organizations coming out of the woodwork, who want to "partner" with you, "educate" you and help you with these new "things". Someone has the accountability to sort these out, provide more background, consider the feasibility and manage expectations around the next new wave.

This brief talk will not provide you with all the knowledge of these topics, but rather provide you with some steps to manage the information overload. It will include:

  • A scoring mechanism to use within your own teams on relevance and usability.
  • Guidelines for how to introduce new concepts to your technical and business peers.
  • Recommendations on how to find more information on specific topics of interest, minus the vendor hype.
  • Polite ways to divert zealous vendors.
  • Tips on elevating items you deem important to your leadership.


With 25 years of experience in a variety of sizes of companies I have truly experienced some of this challenge and want to make it easier for you, my colleagues.

Speaker Bio

Dawn Michels is an Enterprise Information Architect located near St. Paul, MN. Dawn has contributed her architectural and data management skills across many industries, including, Retail, Manufacturing, Medical Devices and Financial industries. Dawn's employment tapestry includes; Regis Corp, Target Inc, Andersen (Windows and Doors), Guidant Corp, Fair Isaac Inc, Securian and General Mills, where she led the first Corp Wide DW. This included data design, internal marketing as well as hardware and software selection. To round out her professional career, Dawn has been an adjunct faculty member at The Universities of St. Catherine and St. Thomas, teaching courses in MIS, Info Management and Data Warehousing. She has spoken at Eleven International Conferences on assorted topics of interest, and speaks for other DAMA chapters as requested. Dawn is most recent past-President of the DAMA MN chapter. Data is her passion as well as her vocation.

Agenda

8:30 Registration & Networking 
9:00 Opening Remarks 
9:15 Presentation

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